Following the Harvey Weinstein allegations last year, a whole range of celebrities have been accused and investigated for sexual misconduct and in some instances, rape.
One of the most recent is Hollywood action man; Steven Seagal.
As it stands, the LAPD are looking into claims of sexual assault from a number of women including Portia de Rossi (Ellen DeGeneres’ wife). Portia claimed Steven unzipped his trousers during an audition at his office.
Another allegation comes from Rae Dawn Chong who claims he exposed himself whilst in a hotel room then bombarded her with a barrage of sexually charged messages.
Worse still, an extra that worked on a film he starred in back in 1994 has claimed Steven took his misconduct one stage further. She claimed he raped her at his home after she went there believing she was attending a wrap party only to discover she was the only one in attendance!
Very disturbing allegations indeed.
So whilst the authorities do their bit, many are left wondering how many accusations are pending and where does this stop.
More importantly though, we believe both women and men should NEVER be the victim of harassment and moreover should never feel forced into any situation unwillingly.
We recently looked at what constitutes sexual harassment, but what about rape?
What is rape?
Whilst it may seem obvious to most, there are some people that aren’t entirely clear or believe they may have somehow sent out the wrong signal or were not explicit enough in their refusal.
According to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, rape is; when a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis without getting full consent from the person being penetrated.
Plain and simple!
The key word here is consent.
Consent refers to permission or an agreement from one person to another.
Before sexual intercourse (or activity) can legally take place, consent must be established.
In the following instances, the law recognises non-consensual sex to have taken place;
- If sex took place under threat of violence or following violent behaviour
- If the victim was drunk, under the influence of drugs or asleep
- A victim had a disability that prevented them from being able to communicate effectively whether they consent or not
[Please note, this list is not exhaustive].
Sadly, many are too afraid to report a rape.
Stats tell is less than 20% of all rapes are reported – that’s crazily high!
Whilst the maximum life sentence for rape is life, the average sentence is nowhere near that. In fact, it is closer to 8 years!
Perhaps tougher sentences will encourage rape victims to come forward?!
So can a woman rape a man?
As the law states; a penis must penetrate the vagina, anus or mouth without consent, unfortunately the law does not recognise that a woman can rape a man even if she penetrates him with an object of some sort. This would be deemed as a serious sexual assault and not rape!
The only way a woman could be convicted of rape is if she is an accomplice to a rape. In other words, if she helps a man to rape another person then she can in fact, be tried and convicted as a rapist.
So there we have it…
A pretty grim topic to be honest, but one that needs to be discussed and one that needs to be understood thoroughly by both men and women.
Remember: one of the most important things to take away here, is; rape is NEVER OK and should ALWAYS be reported so justice can be sought and the victim can receive the emotional support that they will undoubtedly need.